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At the start it all seams very daunting, but as you said you are keen to learn and have a will to succeed. That is the first major problem solved. A lot of what we do isn't rocket science. It's just sheer determination and the will to get there. Your first site is your first learning step. You will quickly learn new tricks and new ways of doing things. What you will find is that every site you build becomes just that little bitter better than the one before it. You may only build one site, but you can believe you will make a lot of changes to it over the years.
This game is all about finding what works and what doesn't. Very often what works on one industry wont work in another. The key is practice. Read up on the latest issues and see what you can do to take advantage of them. Eventually you will have a firm grasp of the basics and will be able to start to really explore new avenues.
It take a week to become a web designer. It takes a lifetime to become an experienced one :)
One thing I would recommend you do is click on the HTMl tab often just to allow you get used to how html works. This will be of great benefit to you as time goes by.
Theoretically with wysiwyg editors like Frontpage (which is what I use) you don't need to know HTML. But if you really want to design nice web sites it's nothing short of invaluble, especially in the long run.
<b>Best of luck!</b>
I don't want to give advice that moves too fast for you, but just to cast your eyes alittle bit ahead, my biggest piece of advice for someone coming into this fresh is to learn CSS (cascading style sheets) as soon as you've got basic HTML firmly under your belt.
CSS is a way to take basic, simple HTML code and style it to appear on the browser screen however you wish. There are ways to do this directly with HTML, but they are outdated and extremely limited in what they can do (and also, unfortunately, what many WYSIWYG editors use to build your page). CSS is an extremely powerful way to control the appearance of a web page. Every web designer should, and nearly all do, use it in some capacity.
But the main thing is that coming into the field new, you will set yourself up for early "mastery" (as if we can every have that) if you build a knowledge of this powerful coding language into your education now. Many designers who have used other methods of controlling page appearance for years find themselves with a much steeper learning curve to overcome when trying to switch to CSS. Personally, I learned using CSS to layout and style pages right from the start, and as such I think I have a much easier time than many at making it work.
Obviously, you need to have the very basics down first: HTML, basic web structure, linking, etc. But once your feet are firnly on the web in that regard, start learning the basics of CSS next. If you stick with web design into the future, I promise you won't regret it.
Nice to have you onboard!